Australian Shepherd Dog Training & Care

Known as an Aussie, the Australian shepherd dog is a type of herding dog that is being bred in the Western United States.  Their popularity began through rodeos, horse shows and Disney movies.  The Australian shepherd dog is commended for their innate versatility and trainability.  They are always obedient and keen in pleasing their owners.  They are also highly energetic and driven that is why they stand out in dog sports.  Unlike other dogs, Australian Shepherds need more physical and mental activities.  It is possible that they can acquire serious behavior problems if they become bored or even self-destructive.  Due to this energy, they would always want to have a task at hand, making them very efficient as search and rescue dogs, disaster dogs, detection dogs, guide, service, and therapy dogs.  In addition, they can be a good watchdog even for children because they love to play.  They are very even-tempered and puppy-like even if they are already adults.

The Australian shepherd dog has a medium-sized built and a strong, well-balanced, rustic body.  It is important that the whole size of the head is proportional to the body.  Along with this, the muzzle should be equal or somewhat shorter than the back of the skull.  Moreover, their teeth should be forming a scissors or level bite.  The ears of an Australian shepherd are triangle in shape but its tip is slightly rounded and their eyes are shaped as a medium-sized oval with colors brown, blue, amber or any variations of these colors.  Their coat is medium in texture and is straight to slightly wavy.  It is also weather-resistant and moderately long with an undercoat.  The colors of the coats vary from blue merle, black, red merle and solid red.  They can come either with or without white markings and copper points.  The texture of the hair varies on each part of its body.  The hairs on the head, outside the ears, front of the forelegs and below the hocks are short and smooth.  On the other hand, the hair are the back of the forelegs are somewhat feathered.  The breeches at this area are also sort of full.  Moreover, male Australian shepherd has more obvious moderate mane and frill.  As for its tail, Australian shepherd has a bobtail that is docked and straight.  Their chests are deep that its lowest point can already reach the elbow.   In addition, they have straight front legs that are perpendicular to the ground and oval feet and well-arched toes.

An Australian Shepherd dog is prone to several inherited health problems, such as problems in the back, hip, vision and hearing.  Serious health problems among Australian Shepherds are cataract and Collie eye anomaly, whereas, minor health problems of this breed include coronary heart disease, nasal solar dermatitis, Pelger-Huet syndrome and iris coloboma.  There are also other health conditions that sometimes affect the Australian Shepherd dog and these are lumbar sacral syndrome, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, von Willebrand disease, distichiasis, patent ductus arteriosus, and persistent papillary membranes.

Basic Australian Shepherd Care

Australian Shepherds are a good breed if you want a herding or working dog to help you in your work, or if you simply want to have a good companion with you. As with other breeds, these dogs will need to be shown proper care and attention so that they will be happy and well-adjusted. This article gives advice in basic Australian shepherd care so you can take good care of your dog.

Diet

One of the most important parts of basic Australian shepherd care is the diet. Make sure to feed your pet high-grade dog food. While this may cost a bit more, this will ensure that your dog will get all of the essential nutrients he or she needs. Be sure to check the ingredients to see what goes into the food. Crude protein should not be less than 30% and crude fat not less than 20%. Puppies have different nutritional requirements compared to adult dogs, so be sure to change the diet accordingly. If you have several Australian shepherds at home, make sure that each dog has his or her own water dish and food dish.

Health

Once you get your Australian shepherd, make sure that you bring him or her to the vet for vaccinations and deworming. Bringing the dog to the vet is also important to get your pet checked for any diseases, such as cataracts or hip dysplasia. Be sure to bring your dog to the vet yearly as well for check-ups and booster shots.

Socialization

It’s important for you to socialize your dog as early as possible so that he or she will become comfortable around people. Dogs that haven’t been socialized are more fearful or aggressive towards individuals that they’re not familiar with, so make sure that you introduce your Australian shepherd to new situations and people to make him or her used to these.

Training

Australian shepherds will need to be trained, as they can grow to be very powerful dogs that can do a lot of damage. What’s more, Australian shepherds have strong guarding and herding instincts which can cause trouble if left alone. The good news is that Australian shepherds are quite smart, so it won’t be that difficult to train them. Crate training is an effective method to potty train them. You will also need to train your Australian shepherd when it comes to furniture (especially if he or she is an indoor dog), any forbidden areas in the house, and acting around guests.

When training your Australian shepherd, make sure that you establish that you’re the leader between the two of you, otherwise, he or she will disregard your commands. Be firm but patient when it comes to training your new canine friend.

Playtime

Australian shepherds have a lot of energy, so they will need to be exercised regularly so that they don’t end up being restless or bored. Don’t just take your dogs to walks. These dogs love running, so make sure that you give them the exercise and freedom that they need. Their liveliness doesn’t make them good apartment dogs or city dogs, not unless they can be brought to open areas where they can play.

Australian shepherds may not be high-maintenance dogs, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t have any needs. Keep these tips in basic Australian shepherd care in mind so that you will be able to take care of your canine friends without any problems.